Even though the housing market continues to fluctuate a bit more these days, it doesn’t mean your dream of being a new homeowner is out the window. It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time buyer or an experienced homeowner, there are many ways to leverage your finances so you can invest in your future while keeping your cash where it belongs. Here are a few things to consider when preparing to buy a new home in today’s market:
Energy efficiency matters.
While the cost of your home is one thing, you also have to pay to keep it up and running. At Urban NW Homes, every new home is built to the National Green Building Standard, with an efficiency level far above a code built home. New homes can also be built as a Net Zero energy property, which uses very little to no energy from the grid. This saves you money each month while also being better for the environment.
Home warranties work.
A home warranty can help you get your major systems and appliances back up and running after a failure without writing a huge check. By considering the costs of electrical repair, refrigerator replacement, or other major issue, the comparatively small price of a home warranty may be well worth the investment. You might not need a home warranty if your home inspection shows no red flags and if your new home’s appliances are still covered by the manufacturer.
Inquire about special financing offers.
Many builders and lenders are offering a variety of options that can help keep your monthly mortgage payments down. For example, many of Urban Northwest Homes’ move-in ready homes are eligible for a 1%-2% rate buydown option if you choose to partner with preferred lenders. This can make a huge difference in savings over the lifetime of your loan.
You have to be familiar with your credit.
Your credit score is one of the most important factors when it comes time for your lender to determine your interest rate. A credit score of 620 is typically considered fair, according to Experian. However, you’ll get the best rates the closer you get to the 700 mark. If you are a first-time buyer, you should also know that you can shop for mortgages and that working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you find a home at or below your budget.
There are ways to raise your credit score.
If you’ve yet to seek a mortgage because of shoddy credit, there are a few different ways you can raise your credit score within the next 6 to 12 months. According to Credit Karma, one of these is to become an authorized user on someone else’s card. You might also consolidate your high interest cards into a personal loan, pay down your highest debt load, or seek an increased credit limit as ways to boost your score and creditworthiness.
You’re probably spending more than you know.
When you’re trying to save for a down payment, every penny counts. But, you may be wasting around $18,000 every year on unnecessary expenses. Republic Bank explains that many Americans spend on unused memberships, wasted food, convenience packaging, and high credit card fees.
There are plenty of ways to make money.
Even if you’re already working a nine-to-five job, there are lots of ways to increase your income. One tip that Chime culled from smart Redditors: set money aside for a “side hustle.” Your side job could be anything from selling items that you source from yard sales to making crafts that you leave at local flea markets. The point is that if you need extra cash to fund your new home, you don’t have to settle for one source of income.
You should not feel guilty about spending money on yourself.
Many people struggle at the thought of spending money on themselves when they are trying to buy a home. But, you have to have fun in life. Without a bit of laughter, you’ll be stressed out and you won’t sleep as well. Further, having fun can boost your creativity, which can help you come up with side hustle ideas. While you should be responsible if you’re on a tight budget, don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a night out every now and then.
While everyone’s personal finances are different, there are a few things you can do to keep your money in order as you strive to buy a home. The tips above are just a few. From getting a home warranty to knowing your credit score and adding to your income, everything you do to boost your financial situation will help you get into the home of your dreams.